Tuesday, August 2, 2011
AMERICA IN BLOOM JUDGES FINALLY ARRIVE
The America in Bloom (AIB) judges are finally here! After the all the town’s hard work and dedication, it’s time to show them what Westfield is made of. Judges Melanie Riggs and Billy Butterfield will score Westfield according to eight criteria; tidiness effort, environmental effort, community involvement, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas, floral displays, and turf and ground covered areas. A tour involving these eight criteria, conducted by co-leaders, Sherry Cronin of Downtown Westfield Corporation and David Williams of Williams Nursery, will take place August 1 and 2 and show the judges the greatest areas of Westfield, NJ. Historical sites such as the downtown district, the Reeve House & Cultural Center and the Miller-Cory House Museum, residential and downtown areas, town parks and clubs, and local gardens will be exhibited.
The America in Bloom Symposium & Awards Program will take place October 6-8, 2011 where results will be heard. Although Westfield hopes to top last year’s success, we have already won. The many improvements the town has seen as a result of participation in this competition are an award in itself. Throughout the community there have been many effective projects to better our environment including (but not limited to); graffiti cleaning, recycling projects, solar panel installations, educational sessions, historic preservations, maintenance and tree ordinances, school gardens, park clean-ups, plant sales, and earth day plantings and celebrations. Though much of Westfield’s development must be credited to the hardworking residents and volunteers of the town, America in Bloom was a push in the right direction. In addition, many of the “Westfield in Bloom” stories and pictures have been assembled in a blog at www.WestfieldinBloom.com.
Westfield in Bloom (local AIB name) is about more than gardens and hanging flower baskets. The overall community benefits from the campaign. This program is about education, improvement, and civic pride. With AIB serving as a catalyst in the beautification process, people have more of a reason to get involved.
Over the past two years Westfield has seen an abundant increase in plant life due to the promotion and development of ornamental horticulture. With the birth of each community garden there are residents, organizations, and businesses that have joined together to make it all possible. Everyone working towards a common goal creates a better place to live, work and visit. Continuing this beautification process will attract tourism, which in turn can increase property values, jobs, and economic development.
America in Bloom has brought attention to the importance of town pride, and has celebrated Westfield as a ‘great place to be’.
A huge thank you and congratulations is in order for everyone that has participated in Westfield in Bloom this year and who has helped make our town richer and even more beautiful. Even though the contest is over, keep up the good work! Take pride in the town you live in and continue the amazing efforts you have put forth to make Westfield the place it is today.